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Product Development Stories

Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner Design

As of Apr. 2022

Vol.1Like a stick of a broom, we developed to refine
the cordless stick vacuum cleaner lighter and easier.

Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner Design Team: Takashi Yamamoto, Tomoyuki Nanno, Mengting Zou, Mai Seki
Product Design Department, Global Center for Social Innovation - Tokyo, Research & Development Group, Hitachi, Ltd.

Please tell us the story behind the development from
the designer’s perspective.

Zou:Hitachi is rigorous in conducting lifestyle surveys in the markets. I read through raw data for roughly six years over a span of three months to get an idea of the lifestyles in each country and how people clean their houses. In addition, we conducted two in-depth interviews.
Looking at photos of homes and people’s lifestyles in our survey, I noticed that many homes have a traditional broom standing upside down against the wall, even when they have the latest appliances. That was when I was inspired by the broom. I realised that a cordless stick vacuum cleaner could also be ready to use quickly at any time, just like the broom.

Just a small hint, but how did you develop your ideas?

Zou:We, the design team, discussed and set the principles first, so that we could formulate the basic concepts for the product from the different divisions involved.
The first design principle was that it should be quick and easy to use, like the familiar broom. The second was that it should offer an easy and efficient way to sweep the room, because people that are not used to having a vacuum cleaner will not use it unless it does a better job than the familiar broom. The last is that people should feel pleased that they bought it, because it is quite expensive. Our design was developed based on these three principles.
In fact, I believed that a cordless stick vacuum cleaner must be quick and easy to use like a broom.

Did you check whether the concept is acceptable globally?

Yamamoto:We came up with the design concept, built the prototype and collected opinions on the new design from our sales companies in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, and then used them to refine the design. They love it.

Zou:Personally, I've been wondering why vacuum cleaners are not used much in China and Southeast Asia. Our research supported that wiping with a wet cloth is the most practical way to keep places clean in countries that have tiled floors or other hard floors. The mop is troublesome, but it is the culturally accepted way to clean the floor. So sweeping before mopping should be quick and easy.

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